World number one Victoria Azarenka stretched her unbeaten run to 24 matches this year with another easy win in her first appearance at the WTA/ATP event in Miami on Friday.
Her latest victim was Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands, who fought hard but was no match for Azarenka as the Belarusian cruised to a 6-3, 7-5 win.
Azarenka is off to the hottest start to a season since Martina Hingis won her first 37 matches in 1997. Her wins this year include the Australian Open and Indian Wells last week, but she realises she now has a target on her back.
"I felt that she had nothing to lose, so she went for her shots, she was really aggressive," Azarenka said.
"I think I could have been more aggressive and play more my game, but I found the right shot selection and the right opportunities when I needed."
Meanwhile, former world number one Venus Williams, idled for six months, upset Czech third seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 to reach the third round.
Williams, in her first WTA event since pulling out of last year's US Open, took advantage on 9-of-11 break-point chances and fought off a rally to advance after two hours and 18 minutes.
She booked a third-round match-up with Canadian wildcard Aleksandra Wozniak, who defeated Romania's Monica Niculescu 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal began his quest for a first-ever Miami hardcourt title by ousting Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-0 in 69 minutes.
Nadal, who received a first-round bye, advanced to a third-round match with Czech Radek Stepanek, who ousted Germany's Tommy Haas 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
Great Britain's Andy Murray, who was given a bye in the first round, rebounded from his early exit at Indian Wells last week to beat Colombia's Alejandro Falla 6-2, 6-3.
The fourth seed faces a third-round clash with Milos Raonic, who defeated Arnaud Clement 7-6 (9-7), 6-2.
"I was expecting it to be tricky ... and managed to play better," Murray said.
"Once I settled down and started playing well, I was in most of his service games. So I was putting pressure on him."
American John Isner maintained his great run of form, which has included a win over world number one Novak Djokovic, by defeating Russian Nikolay Davydenko 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, highlighted by 10 aces.
ReutersTags: tennis, sport, united-states First posted March 24, 2012 13:18:38